When relying on hunger is too scary

When relying on-3

 

Does the idea of relying on your hunger and fullness cues freak you out? Seem waaaay too scary? Please hang on. This post is for you. And, be sure to know you are not alone.

I can’t stop thinking about food!

Attuned eating is letting go of distractions and relying on your hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating instead of rigid diets. Some people also call it Intuitive Eating (check out the brand new workbook edition here it is fabulous). If your brain thinks about food, eating, and their rules most of the day, attuned eating will feel a bit premature. We often call this way of thinking food preoccupation. I see it as food rules have taken your brain hostage. The way out of this crisis is to retrain your brain to not think about food. All. The. Time.

Before you look into brain surgeons, know we have tools outside of the operating room. And, all you need to do the work includes a way to know time (either your watch, cell phone, or the sun), a shelf stable snack of your choice, and patience. Bring lots of patience.

Disconnecting from hunger makes us think more about food

We get disconnected from our hunger cues because our brains have been distracted by food rules, not prioritizing self-care, and emotional dysregulation. If you are disconnected from hunger, there was a time when you were not. There was a time when your body consistently provided the information you needed to eat adequately. Diets and other means to learn food rules disconnected you. So does a chaotic life with little self-care. If you are running around like a chicken with a head cut off, then you are not stopping to eat when hungry nor pee when need to pee. (That’s for all my nurses and teachers…talking to you!)

You also get disconnected if you are used to feeling certain emotions and reaching for food. Emotional eating is a touchy word in my book because everyone emotionally eats. It is human and part of cultural connections. And healthy. What I am talking about though is when a person feels an emotion, whether uncomfortable or warm fuzzy, and the brain automatically feels connection with certain foods. I like to call this symbolic hunger discussed in another post.

How do we rewire our noggins?

Diets, lack of self-care, and emotional dysregulation can all disconnect your hunger and make your brain over think about food. To retrain your brain, practice these steps over the next 2 to 4 weeks:

Pick your check in times.

What time do you wake up? Now set an alarm on your phone for every two to three hours after this time throughout the whole day. If you don’t use a smart phone, pencil it in your calendar. These times are your check in times.

Go through the check in routine.

Within the first hour of being awake and every check in time, go through this routine: take 3 deep breaths and ask yourself: “What do I need right now?” By what do I need I am referring to anything. If nothing surfaces ask these:

Do I need to pee?

What am I feeling?

Am I hot or cold?

Do I want or need to eat?

What to do about food at check in times?

At each check in time, give yourself permission to eat outside of physical hunger. If you are not feeling hunger cues, you need to eat at some point (hello, you are human!). By doing this, you will reset your circadian eating rhythms which will gradually reset your hunger cues to be consistently noticeable.

What to do about food outside of check in times?

When craving to eat or binge outside of check in times practice gently saying: “I am craving food right now. It is symbolic hunger. I can have as much as I want or need at the next check in time.” If you find yourself not able to wait, please forgive yourself and move on. Those who are successful at this part of the process are folks who keep trying. So dust yourself off and look to the next check in time. It will get easier after more practice.

What to expect

Practice these check in times over the next 2 to 4 weeks. Remember to be extra kind to yourself and forgive when making mistakes. Everyone does during this process. After a few weeks, your brain will start to get used to a rhythm from the check in times and eating times. More space will occur outside of eating and hunger cues will begin to percolate to the surface. And when they do, welcome them home. Let hunger know you won’t be ignoring it anymore rather wanting to get to know its purpose.

Let me know when you start to experience the hunger cues coming back. It is an exciting reuniting process!

 

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Want a guide to partner with you on your Food Peace journey? I want to help. Check out my podcast and I hope it illuminates the direction you want to go.

The Love Food Podcast Episode 59

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Did healing your relationship with food result in weight gain? Are you angry that healing your relationship with food has made you gain this weight? Do you feel judged based on the weight gain? Listen now for some ways to deal with this part of the food and body peace journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Specialized Track for College-Aged Women at Green Mountain at Fox Run

Dieting trends. Endless images of ‘perfect bodies’. Find a permanent solution to struggles with food, weight and body at Green Mountain at Fox Run. Green Mountain is hosting weekly programs between May 14 and August 26 tailored to the needs of women between ages 18 and 25. Your whole life is ahead of you, and you deserve to live it happily and in good health. Visit https://goo.gl/2r8B2W for more information.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week! It’s time we tackle our cultural eating disorder recovery and speak out about the seriousness of eating disorders.
  • Dieting is a part of the eating disorder experience… if diets weren’t normalized, we would have fewer eating disorders!
  • On March 1st start looking for #ChangeTheGame!! Let’s change the conversation around dieting. Dieting is NOT healthy eating.
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!
  • Eating disorders kill more people than any other mental illness. One person dies every 23 hours from an eating disorder.
  • The Canary in the Coal Mine metaphor:
    • Coal miners used to bring canaries down into the coal mines with them. If the canaries were singing, the coal miners knew they were safe. Once the singing stopped though, that was the coal miners’ cue to get out quickly before the toxic gas killed them too.
    • We live in a toxic environment focused on the thin ideal… some people are impacted much more quickly or intensely than others, and they develop eating disorders (the canaries). They are our warning to fix our toxic environment before it gets us too (the coal miners).
  • Many people who go through classic eating disorder treatment receive a meal plan from their dietitians to guide their eating in recovery. This system may be flawed though, and potentially damaging, and we are actually discovering that we may be able to use intuitive eating much earlier in eating disorder recovery than we initially thought!
  • What exactly is a “set healthy weight?” We really have no clue what any single person is supposed to weigh. At certain points in eating disorder recovery this “set-point” can be an important number, and is determined by past weight experiences… but it’s very difficult to actually pin this number down.
  • Our “healthy weight” CHANGES based on our age and other life factors!
  • Some research indicates that being in larger body as we get older can be protective.
  • It’s time we change our thought process on what weight indicates!
  • Trying to manipulate someone’s weight is going to negatively impact their behaviors.
  • What if the enemy is not food at all, and the enemies are really body hate, the need for control, the value attached to body perception, and the value we hold for the judgment others place on our bodies?
  • We do an activity from When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, a book that approaches recovery from a feminist perspective. How would we lead our lives if we lived in a world where all bodies were valued, no matter their size? What if we were all considered important and precious the way we are now?
  • We DON’T know what anyone’s weight is actually supposed to be, and we probably never will. We just need to accept where our body is at, no matter what. We don’t have to fight against our bodies.
  • We need you in this world, as you are now.
  • Food is NOT the enemy!

Show Notes:

  • Link to subscribe to the weekly FREE Food Peace Newsletter. It is sent out every Tuesday morning and no spam EVER. By signing up, I will also send you Love Food’s Season 1’s Food Peace Syllabus.
  • Overcoming Overeating: How to Break the Diet/Binge Cycle and Live a Healthier, More Satisfying Life by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter  —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #1
  • When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #2
  • Love, Food Episode 22 with Dr. Maria Paredes
  • Eating Disorder Dietitians
  • Julie Dillon RD blog

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Weekend Program for Women who Struggle with Eating and Weight Concerns

Green Mountain at Fox Run is excited to announce a one-time opportunity to newcomers – an all-new A Taste of Green Mountain weekend program (March 3 – 5)! Key strategies for mindful eating, mindful movement, self-care, and stress management will be introduced to help participants to eat, move, feel, and LIVE in the moment…to #BeHerNow! This opportunity is only open to new guests of Green Mountain. https://goo.gl/tCVQWl

Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive

The Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating is offering its foundational one-week Pathway™ program in an intensive weekend format. Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. Dates are scheduled monthly throughout 2017 although capacity is limited, so visit https://goo.gl/xFh2up  for more information.

There’s only ONE premier retreat for women who struggle with overeating and weight.

It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://goo.gl/si9wZi for more information.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Binge Eating White Paper – Myths, Truths and Treatments

Download Green Mountain’s free whitepaper to understand Binge Eating Disorder, the most common eating disorder. Explore the symptoms of and treatment for BED, assess where weight loss fits in, and gain clarity on common myths. Visit https://goo.gl/UGpF78 for more information.

 

The Love Food Podcast Episode 58 with Andrew Walen

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Are you struggling with your relationship with food and your body, but are finding it difficult to find the right resources to help you heal? Do you identify as a man and feel lost or like an outsider in the food and body peace world? Have you made peace with food, but are still struggling to make peace with your body? Listen now for some advice on how to begin tackling these issues.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • You are not alone, but we can appreciate that you still FEEL alone!
  • SHAME is a big part of eating disorders, and there is an extra layer of shame for men.
  • Andrew Walen joins for more insight into the male experience with eating disorders, body image struggles, and food peace concerns.
  • Resources for men who struggle with body image is severely lacking!
  • The male ideal: 50% of men wish they were bigger and 50% of men wish they were smaller… there is also a lot of focus on musculature, especially in the chest region (very different than the female ideal!). The physical ideal is also influenced by our ideas of “manliness.” Men must be tough, strong, and nothing like women (stereotypically feminine traits such as soft or weak).
  • Eating disorders within the male population are stigmatized because they imply that the person suffering from the eating disorder is weak… which is feminine and therefore “bad.”
  • Right now, the biggest thing is NORMALIZING the male eating disorder.
  • According to some research, about 85% of people who struggle with body image issues and eating disorders are heterosexual males.
  • We live in a society that drives us to self-hate because we are told we don’t measure up, and people of all ages and of all genders are constantly comparing themselves to those around them.
  • We all struggle with wanting to be appreciated and accepted by those around us!
  • It’s important that men dealing with body image issues have the inner courage to speak out and begin to share their stories of struggle and success so that the experience is normalized and more research money can come in to help people suffering!!
  • Residential treatment facilities for men suffering from eating disorders is sorely lacking… only one current center in the country offers in-patient residential treatment for males!
  • How do eating disorders look different in men? How do men talk about their bodies?
    • Focus on muscularity, strength, and dominance
    • Co-morbidity of substance abuse, specifically alcohol
    • Language around the body is less specific and less emotionally intense than a woman’s language around the body
  • Coping skills are super important! This can include learning how to sit with discomfort and learning how to communicate emotions.
  • Men are less likely to seek out treatment, more likely to wait longer before undergoing treatment, and more likely to rush through treatment and, as a result, relapse. This inevitably makes the fatality rates for males with eating disorders, specifically anorexia, higher than that of women with eating disorders.
  • Resources can help normalize the experience of men with eating disorders and body image concerns!!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

A Taste of Green Mountain – Weekend Program Green Mountain at Fox Run is excited to announce a one-time opportunity to newcomers – an all-new A Taste of Green Mountain weekend program! Key strategies for mindful eating, mindful movement, self-care, and stress management will be introduced to help participants to eat, move, feel, and LIVE in the moment…to #BeHerNow! This opportunity is only open to new guests of Green Mountain. https://goo.gl/tCVQWl

Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend IntensiveThe Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating is offering its foundational one-week Pathway™ program in an intensive weekend format. Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. Dates are scheduled monthly throughout 2017 although capacity is limited, so visit https://goo.gl/xFh2up  for more information.

TAKE TIME TO INVEST IN YOU.It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://goo.gl/si9wZi for more information.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Foundational Guide to Reaching & Maintaining Your Healthy Weight

Download Green Mountain’s free healthy weight foundational guide to learn how to embrace healthy (and pleasurable) eating strategies, cultivate a fitness practice you enjoy, and use mindfulness to overcome stress & emotional eating https://goo.gl/WwUDOr

The Love Food Podcast Episode 55

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Do you feel that you’ve made peace with food, but are still struggling to make peace with your body? Have you gained weight on your anti-diet, intuitive eating journey, and are now trying to work through your emotions related to this weight gain? Are you feeling a loss from letting go of dieting? Listen now for some ways to get started on body peace and diet mourning.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • National Dieting Month has reached its end! CHEERS!
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review!! It really helps people who need to break free from dieting find the podcast and begin their journey to find food peace. Thank you to everyone who has left a review so far!
  • For those of you early on in your intuitive eating journey, this letter writer lets us know that part of intuitive eating is learning that eating past fullness is uncomfortable, and therefore it just isn’t something we usually do when we have a healthy relationship with food. Sometimes we eat past fullness to be sure, it happens! But that isn’t the norm, and it doesn’t fill us with guilt anymore when we do eat past fullness.
  • Recovery takes time… it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Connecting to your body can feel unsafe or uncomfortable in early recovery, so be patient when trying to tap into your intuition.
  • Healthy eating includes flexibility!!
  • The only way to learn how to rely on your own hunger, fullness, and satiety cues is trial and error.
  • Intuitive eating = mindful eating = attuned eating.
  • You are allowed to eat things JUST BECAUSE. Unconditional permission to eat is a super important part of intuitive eating, but it can be the scariest!
  • Sometimes through intuitive eating we find that foods we were obsessed with during our disordered days are foods that we actually don’t even like.
  • There is often a mourning process when we let go of dieting because dieting sells us the lie of a perfect, happy life. But don’t avoid that grief! Feel what you’re experiencing, and remember that this feeling won’t last forever.
  • Seek out leaders in the body acceptance community to help you work through this grief.
  • The next step is embracing the social justice aspect of diets, and fighting for marginalized groups in the body peace movement.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Free 4-Week Email Course: #BeHerNow

It’s time to STOP putting your life on hold until you lose weight and START living the life you desire and deserve today! Register for our free 4-week #BeHerNow online course to learn how to transform your thoughts and behaviors so that the real you shines through…paving the way to a fuller, richer life. Explore how to shift your focus from weight to well-being, how to make lasting change from the inside out, and how to identify and realize what you really want and need. Registration for this series closes on Wednesday, February 1, so sign up today to receive the first email in the series on Thursday, February 2.

TAKE TIME TO INVEST IN YOU.

It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://www.fitwoman.com/for more information.

The Love Food Podcast Episode 50 with Erica Leon

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Can you not remember the last time you ate without being on some kind of diet? Do you feel anxious and preoccupied about your food choices? Do you feel like you use food to escape your life, and avoid intense emotions? Are you consumed by feelings of loneliness, and find yourself trying to use food to fill that hole? Listen now to get some insight on these issues.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • Dieting harms us and disconnects us from our own innate wisdom about our health.
  • We associate the word “skinny” with positive attributes, and the word “fat” with negative attributes, but these are FALSE TRUTHS fed to us via toxic diet culture.
  • Erica Leon joins to talk about our cultural ideas around “skinny” and “fat,” and diet culture overall.
  • We often diet to feel in control, but inevitably it does the opposite and makes us feel out of control instead!
  • This pain is so VALID, and our pain surrounding food and our bodies is so, so common.
  • Perfection is not reality!!
  • Using food to cope is an understandable reaction to trauma… but this means that we must tackle the emotional underbelly of our relationship with food.
  • We must let go of dieting, begin to trust our inner wisdom, and understand that all foods fit! This process can cause a lot of uncomfortable emotions to arise, and so having additional mental health support is very important during this process.
  • Dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders have a function! They allow us to get through trauma, and we cannot discount how important these behaviors are in the context of our journeys.
  • Therapy is such an important adjunctive piece of healing a client’s relationship with food and their bodies, especially when working with a nutrition therapist who may not be able to support clients in that mental health capacity.
  • Our relationship with food is about so much MORE than the food!
  • Discomfort means you’re GROWING!! Keep going…
  • The first step of intuitive eating is to let go of the diet mentality. This can trigger the feeling of being out of control, and having the support of a dietitian in this phase can be super important! This is when we start to tune into our hunger and fullness, explore food in a new way, and observe everything with non-judgmental awareness.
  • Feeling out of control with diets might be the first step away from diets… but this feeling does NOT last forever!
  • Part of this process is rediscovering foods you may have not liked in the past, things you thought you loved that you don’t like anymore, and just feeling it all out by asking yourself questions and reconnecting to your wisdom.
  • You are not alone!!!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for their Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive (January 20-22, 2017). Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.fitwoman.com/therapy-services-eating-disorder/offerings/binge-eating-intensive-weekend/.

Immerse yourself in a practice of mindfulness. Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for “Mindfulness for Women Who Struggle With Food and Body – A Meditative Retreat”, designed to help you reduce stress, eat well, move joyfully, and guide the way toward ending eating and food struggles. For dates and registration information, please visit

www.fitwoman.com/weight-loss-program-reinvented/2017-mindfulness-weekend/.

The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run is the only clinical program in the nation solely for women suffering with binge & emotional eating. Their insurance-eligible program is backed by over 40 years of experience and is staffed by licensed clinicians. Their program has created life-altering changes by helping women to manage emotional overeating through the practice of mindfulness. For more information, visit www.fitwoman.com/binge.